Cover Art

Blow/Refresh

by

Solomon Deep

A young man reflects on how divorce impacted his life the summer he got his first Nintendo... and his second... and his third. In the uncertain parental universe he traversed, the button on his 8-bit consoles allowed a reset in a world in which he had little control. The summer swam with refreshes in dreams, in love, and in life. This creative nonfiction piece is a reimagining of a nonfiction oral history recorded by the author.

One

The Grateful Dead

I remember when I got my first Nintendo. It was my birthday, and mom made me stay up until at least eleven even though both she and I knew that he wasn't coming home. I had to sit on the step into the kitchen with its cold brass-tacked steel step guard that never quite warmed to the back of my thighs. It was the same brass-tacked steel step guard that I busted my teeth on that time I was pretending to skate back and forth in the living room after Disney on Ice. I slipped. There was blood that time.

I sat next to a box that I knew was a Nintendo. It was covered in an old blanket instead of wrapping paper. It was a big box, it made sense. I sat next to a big box wrapped in an unclassifiable gray knit tartan blanket that was purchased at Building #19 at a steep discount. It screamed 'drug rug' more than it whispered 'comfort.'

It was dark. The lights in the house were half lit, but I can't remember if it was because it was so late or to save money.

I uncovered the box, and I acted excited even though I knew what it was. It had a power button, a reset button, and two controllers. It came with three games. It was an entertainment system.

I wanted to play it, but after all the waiting and it being late I just wanted to go to bed because I was so tired.

I closed my eyes in the bed in the dark.

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